The Rays and pitching coach Jim Hickey have decided to part ways after 10 seasons.
This decision comes as a shock to many fans and observers of the team, who believed that in spite of a losing season, much of the coaching staff would remain unchanged going into the 2018 season. Hickey, especially, felt like a foregone conclusion since he has been with the team for such a long time.
Hickey was contracted through the 2018 season, which makes this decision all the more surprising.
With several other teams making sweeping managerial changes over the offseason, there is no doubt Hickey will find a new home in no time. As for how this will impact the Rays, especially with so many young prospects hoping for their first shot at major league play next season, it’s hard to say.
Obviously the Rays and Hickey had a difference of opinion on the direction the team was going.
During his time with the Rays, Hickey helped mold the careers of pitchers like David Price (who won a Cy Young while with the team), Wade Davis, Fernando Rodney (who had an 0.60 ERA in 2012 under Hickey’s watchful eye), and current Rays’ ace Chris Archer, who he helped guide to his first All-Star Game in 2013 thanks to some pointers on his stride.
Hickey was a gifted coach which it came to shaping young talent. He guided multiple rookie pitchers to having 10+ wins in their inaugural seasons. Something the Rays have excelled at over the last decade.
At this current time neither Hickey nor the club have released statements regarding the decision, but we will update this post as more information is made available.